Astros Top Three Relief Pitching Prospects For 2018
This is the final installment for the top three prospects at each position. We finish it off with the best relief prospects in the Astros system.
Top Three Prospects By Position:
1. Riley Ferrell (AA)
Ferrell was a 3rd round selection of the Astros in the 2015 draft out of TCU after dominating there for 3 seasons. Early into his 2016 season, Ferrell had surgery to remove an aneurysm in his throwing shoulder ending his season. He started the 2017 season with Buies Creek and pitched 2 perfect innings there with 5 K before being promoted to AA. Overall with Corpus Christi he had a 3.81 ERA with 55 K in 52 innings, but he was better than that line indicates as he finished the season great. From July 6th to the end of the season Ferrell had a 2.08 ERA with 4 BB/30 K in 21.2 innings. Ferrell has a mid to high 90s fastball and a mid 80s slider. Ferrell could see time in Houston this year if he performs well in the minors and a spot opens up.
2017 Stats: 2-2, 3.67 ERA (2.58 FIP), 54.0 IP, 51 H, 22 ER, 14 BB, 60 K, 10.0 K/9
2. Jandel Gustave (MLB)
Gustave has been in the Astros system since 2010 and has always caught scouts eyes with his fastball, which can hit triple digits pretty regularly. He had a breakout season with Corpus in 2015. He pitched well enough in AAA in 2016 to earn a call-up to the MLB. He was solid in his short time with Houston posting a 3.52 ERA/3.54 FIP with 16 K in 15.2 innings. Gustave started the 2017 season with Houston but after just 5 innings, he needed TJ surgery and missed the remainder of the year. Gustave has closer stuff but will need to work on his command to really take the next step forward.
2017 Stats: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 BB, 2 K
3. Dean Deetz (AAA)
Deetz started out the season as a starter and pitched really well for Corpus. He was promoted to Fresno and eventually moved to the bullpen where his stuff really played up. Out of the pen he is a consistent high 90s guy with a hard slider in the 80s. He had some stellar outings with Fresno and some others that left plenty to be desired. Unfortunately he was suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. He has the stuff to succeed as a reliever but will just need to bring it all together when he returns in 2018.
2017 Stats: 7-6, 4.25 ERA, 84.2 IP, 73 H, 40 ER, 50 BB, 97 K, 10.3 K/9
Nick Hernandez (AA) – Hernandez was drafted by the Astros in the 8th round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Houston. After a solid showing in his draft year in 2016, he put together a very good 2017 season making it to AA. He started the year with Buies Creek and had a 1.59 ERA with 11 BB/48 K in 34.0 IP. That also included a dominating stretch where he tossed 22 straight scoreless innings allowing just 8 hits and 6 BB/33 K. AA was a little rougher on him with a 5.84 ERA but he did have 22 K in 24.2 innings.
Brendan McCurry (AAA) – McCurry missed the beginning of the season due to a suspension. When he came back, he pitched pretty well for Fresno. While the ERA wasn’t ideal at 4.43, he had a solid 12 BB/52 K in 44.2 innings. He showed a stretch of dominance though posting a 0.44 ERA with 6 BB/29 K in 20.2 IP from June 20th to August 4th.\n
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**Header Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**
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